Middleweight (used) "adventure bike" with ABS - Choices for a short fella?

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by Anby, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. jfauerba

    jfauerba Been here awhile

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    Had top box on it for years. Even went from NC to CA on it once. I got my FJR for street riding after cross country trip and the NC700x went to gravel road duty with 705 tires and removed top box. The rack broke both times with no top box on it. SW moteck rack, both side bars broke. Figure the entire back end flexing too much on gravel roads.
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  2. jfauerba

    jfauerba Been here awhile

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    I notice in your signature, you have dr650 and Africa Twin? Why have both if Africa Twin is so good in gravel?
    The NC700X was much harder tuning around on single lane gravel roads when at closed gates and having to turn around to check on a friend when he goes down a little ways back. I really like my XT225 with the skinny tires and light weight but it did not have enough power for pavement. The VX300 has just enough power for pavement but feels much closer to my xt225 than my NC700X.
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  3. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    Might well have been the quality of the rack. It's very unusual for an unloaded rack to break.
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  4. William Wolfen

    William Wolfen Long timer

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    The years of the bikes are confusing. The Africa Twin was an unexpected early Christmas present just before Thanksgiving. I've ridden the DR once since and that was for the sake of the carburetor. I probably need to do it again. Technically that's my second DR, since I wrecked the first one September of '18.

    I've seriously considered selling the DR, but I've got too much money in aftermarket stuff. I'd never get enough back to justify selling it. I don't really feel like going through the trouble of trying to sell off the aftermarket stuff separately either. I'll probably eat the loss eventually.
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  5. justdirtyfun

    justdirtyfun Been here awhile

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    My garage has seen a few mid size adventure type bikes. Wife has a cb500x and I have 2012 650 vstrom. They are both good. But for fun, light feeling and capable, the Honda wins. Moving around the garage reminds me more of a dual sport like a DR650, great balance. Roads near us include State letter roads, twisty, elevation change but also forest road and gravel. Some pretty rugged stuff that pushes the term road.
    If I didn't own a bike right now I would grab a CB500x, either generation. Might hit some Rally Raid stuff and done. You won't have to avoid ANY road with good tires. We stay with common, cheap bikes that have already took depreciation. That has allowed us to try lots of different bikes with minimal pocket damage. Being relatively new and building confidence it would be a good approach. Best of luck and practice skills as much as just riding. Maybe more. Low speed figure 8's and stuff like it.
    #25
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  6. Norty01

    Norty01 Occupant

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    OP~
    What bike did you take your motorcycle training course on? I'd look for something similar.
    Since you're short, I'd recommend a used bike over a new bike. Also, you mention resources being a limiting factor. If you want to remain in motorcycling, you're going to have to spend some money. (Especially if you ride A LOT.) Be prepared for this.
    Before I recommend a bike, have you satisfied all the gear requirements of the State of California? What are you planning above and beyond the State's minimal requirements?
    Lastly, please look into other costs of your bike BEFORE you get it.
    Things like~
    Insurance costs
    Registration costs
    Maint. costs.
    Dealer locally?
    "Consumables" cost.

    Ok, now I need to go back and read page 2 as you may have already answered these...:rofl
    #26
  7. Anby

    Anby Been here awhile

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    Thank you everyone for chiming in with your responses! Made a decision to go for a F650GS and I will be picking it up in San Diego next weekend. Now it is time for trip planning from San Diego to San Francisco.
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  8. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    Great choice.

    I forgot to mention earlier than you'd be better off going for a 2004 (at least where I am) and later F650GS because of the upgraded twin spark motor. In addition the forks have been beefed up to prevent breakage and the headlight now has a multireflector lens.

    The side of the motor will say 2 spark.

    [​IMG]
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  9. Anby

    Anby Been here awhile

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    Going for the 2005 twin spark single.. Wish it were the parallel-twin, but found none in my price range.. Your bike looks sharp! Did you replace the entire exhaust system?
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  10. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    That's Eakin's bike, not mine. I did replace the exhaust on my Dakar and it made the bike more fun to ride as the engine revved quicker and made more power.

    P1020191.jpg
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  11. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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  12. Anby

    Anby Been here awhile

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  13. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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  14. Anby

    Anby Been here awhile

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  15. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    Since FI closed-loop-feedback machines are controlled with a computer chip, you'll see a performance LOSS unless you replace the chip or have the system flashed. And then it's a crap-shoot whether the guys who did the aftermarket chip/flash data, knew what they were doing.

    A lot of owners think, more noise=more power. Not the case with modern emissions controls and electronic engine controls. Sometimes there's a good kit out there...but without a dynameter, before-and-after data...and the ability to return the product, or that the shop has data from a previous install...you won't know.

    Were it me, I'd concentrate on making friends with the bike - and then, shop slowly and carefully for stuff like aftermarket exhausts.
    #35
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  16. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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  17. Anby

    Anby Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I would just like to have a reliable predictable relationship with my motorcycle. And learn how to do the maintenance stuff. Time to start assembling a toolkit.
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  18. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    On the F650GS it will drop quite a bit of weight compared to the heavy dual exhaust and also free up some power since the stock one is pretty restricted. No fueling changes required as it's only a slipon.
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  19. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Oh really. Is that from 1st hand experience owning this bike or just your opinion?

    My bike immediately revved quicker and was more fun to ride after I installed mine.

    I was very familiar how quickly rpms gained before as I was not pleased with the slow revving nature of the bike at first. It was a huge improvement.

    The weight lose was also very significant.
    I've had no downside to how the bike runs only upside.
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  20. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I'm sure we all would man.
    Spend your $ where you see fit.
    If you just want to get down the road keep it stock...some of us like performance enhancement to our ride and we work to tweak that.

    In the end if you want a dead predictable relationship with a machine buy a Honda or Yamaha. With BMW your stepping into the world of Euro variations, expect some fixes & mods to happen.
    #40
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